sylvain courcoux

internet entrepreneur

my blog

The human need for power

At some point in time, you’ll come to study Maslow’s pyramid of needs. The highest order need every person has is the need for self-actualization: to be all that you can be. But I think there’s a missing human need in the pyramid: the need for power. There are three forms of power.
When people think of the concept of power, it usually consists of the ability to force others to comply to their will. The reality is that most people can’t force others to do what they want but are instead on the receiving end. And resent it.
The power of the masses is elsewhere: it’s the power to prevent others from doing what they want. I think it’s actually the most common form of power: people preventing each other from doing what they want.
I think the noblest form of power is the ability to enable others to do what they want. Need to feel powerful: forget forcing people to do what you want, stop preventing people from doing what they want and start enabling them to do what they want. Dictators have no power, just force.
When you ask people what they respect, they’ll tell you they respect honesty, intelligence, work, integrity, creativity, all sorts of human qualities. But when you look closer, I think what people really respect is power. Money is power, force is power, inspiration is power, beauty is power, knowledge is power, authority is power, art is power... A fool, a fraud, a dictator or a villain in power is sadly more respected than a wise man without power.